Wednesday, April 04, 2007


This is probably the only party you are going to see telling you where they are going to cut public spending but we are committed to treating the public like adults & you all know that spending promises cannot be made without getting the money from somewhere.

Freezing each ministry's budget, allowing natural wastage to cut staff by 2% annually & making wage rises fully funded by efficiency savings (does anybody doubt there great inefficiency in government:
£1.5 billion annually (5% ot Hoyrood's budget)

Stopping the £1 billion annual subsidy promised to windmills
£1 billion

Cut Scottish Enterprise's budget from £500 million to not more than £100 million
£400 million

Using Scotland's underspend
£600 million

Selling off Scottish Water saves £260 million running costs & could bring in £2 billion.

General cutting ofoutrageousutrageaous examples of waste (SNH spending over £1000 a head to get rid of hedgehogs, civil servants spending £12 million to give advice on not getting into debt, where the client's debt totalled £3 million)
£500 million (low estimate)

Total saving £3760 million in the first year & another £1,500 billion next year.

One off savings:
Forth tunnel rather than bridge - £500 million
Not putting tunnel under the Edinburgh airport runway - £610 million (& rising)
Scrap borders railway - £200 million (?)
Selling Scottish water £2 billion

Total £3310 million

Possible spending

Cut corporatin tax to 12.5% - £2.14 billion
Abolish business rates - £1.7 billion
Cut Income Tax by 3p - £870 million (figure previously agreed with Treasury)
Scottiah Tunnels Project (over 10 years) - £100 million
Nuclear Power (only if we decide it is to good an investment to put in the private sector) - £100 million
Housing - providing bridging loans to stimulate mass production - 0 to £36 million.
Scottish Technology Projects (per year) - £200 million
Scottish X-Prizes - £20 million

Total £5,166 million

Clearly with the one off saving this programme would, on paper, be fully affordable immediately since it would take just over 2 years for the savings to match the new projects & the one off savings would not be depleted by then. It might be prudent to
take a little longer & some of the spending will require agreement with Westminster. Since this is all fully funded it would not prevent carrying out any other party's promises as well - as long as they have already identified where thefunding should come from.

If the science of economics or the experience of Ireland means anything then the only way putting over £5 billion into directly encouraging growth would not allow Scotland to hit a 9% growth rate was if we went over.

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